News, Culture & Society

Disney unveils a NEW Mickey Mouse Club line-up

Disney has unveiled the line-up of its new version of the Mickey Mouse Club, 62 years after the franchise launched the careers of megastars such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.

The company introduced its eight new Mouseketeers, whose ages range from 15 to 18 years old, on Facebook and Instagram today.

Sean Oliu, 15, Brianna Mazzola, 16, Leanne Tessa, 17, Will Simmons, 17, Ky Baldwin, 16, Jenna Alvarez, 15, Regan Aliyah, 18, and Gabe de Guzman, 16, are set to star in the program, which will be called Club Mickey Mouse and run for seven weeks on social media only.

New kids: Disney has unveiled the line-up of its new version of the Mickey Mouse Club, 62 years after the original franchise made its debut

Success: The previous iteration of the franchise launched the careers of stars such as Ryan Gosling (front, left), Britney Spears (front, right), Christina Aguilera (right, behind Spears) and Justin Timberlake (back, right)

Success: The previous iteration of the franchise launched the careers of stars such as Ryan Gosling (front, left), Britney Spears (front, right), Christina Aguilera (right, behind Spears) and Justin Timberlake (back, right)

Each performer starred in a short introductory video telling Disney’s future audience more about their background and passions.

Sean lives in Anaheim, California, not far at all from Disneyland. The 15-year-old, who can now play several instruments, got his start in music aged seven in a mariachi act, where he learned Spanish and discovered more about his culture and heritage.

Nowadays, he enjoys playing several types of music, including regional Mexican, blues, rockabilly and rock and roll. 

Brianna, an actor, dancer and singer, grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and started singing ‘at a really young age’, which she said made her feel different from other children.

‘Music was just always a constant thought,’ she said. ‘Most kids didn’t understand why music meant so much to me but that made me different in a way and I realized it’s OK to be different, to stand up and embrace who you are.’

Performers: Disney's eight new stars are set to star in the program, which will be called Club Mickey Mouse and run for seven weeks on social media only

Performers: Disney’s eight new stars are set to star in the program, which will be called Club Mickey Mouse and run for seven weeks on social media only

New formula: The new Club Mickey Mouse will consist of more than an hour of video a week, spread across about 70 pieces of content in that time frame

New formula: The new Club Mickey Mouse will consist of more than an hour of video a week, spread across about 70 pieces of content in that time frame

Leanne, meanwhile, comes from Granada Hills in California. The 17-year-old proudly explained that her mother, an immigrant from the Philippines, came to the US on her own before starting her own business and establishing the ‘foundation’ of their family.

‘It’s just me and her against the world!’ Leanne, a singer, songwriter and dancer, added.

Will, from Fullerton, California, is a dancer, choreographer, actor and gymnast who grew up watching some of Disney’s best-known shows, including That’s So Raven, The Suite Life Of Zac And Cody, and Hannah Montana.

The 17-year-old said he always wanted to be a ‘Disney kid’, but as he approached his later teens, thought it would never happen—until the new franchise came along. 

Ky, a native of Sydney, Australia, dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player until he tried tap dancing aged six.

The 16-year-old, who became the youngest semifinalist on Australia’s Got Talent when he was just nine, later moved to Los Angeles with his family to pursue his dreams of working as a dancer, songwriter and singer.

Talent: Gabe De Guzman, based in LA, became passionate about dancing aged five. The 16-year-old later performed with Katy Perry and Missy Elliott during the 2015 Super Bowl

Talent: Gabe De Guzman, based in LA, became passionate about dancing aged five. The 16-year-old later performed with Katy Perry and Missy Elliott during the 2015 Super Bowl

Words: Regan Aliyah introduced herself as a rapper, singer, dancer and spoken-word artist from LA. Now 18, she enjoys rapping  to pass on messages that matter to her

Words: Regan Aliyah introduced herself as a rapper, singer, dancer and spoken-word artist from LA. Now 18, she enjoys rapping to pass on messages that matter to her

Family: Leanne Tessa, 17, from Granada Hills, California, explained that her mother, an immigrant from the Philippines, came to the US on her own before staring her own business

Family: Leanne Tessa, 17, from Granada Hills, California, explained that her mother, an immigrant from the Philippines, came to the US on her own before staring her own business

Musician: Sean Oliu lives in Anaheim, California, not far at all from Disneyland. The 15-year-old, who can now play several instruments, got his start in music aged seven in a mariachi act

Musician: Sean Oliu lives in Anaheim, California, not far at all from Disneyland. The 15-year-old, who can now play several instruments, got his start in music aged seven in a mariachi act

Jenna, of San Diego, California, is the youngest of the new cast at 15 years old. The passionate dancer, introduced by Disney as ‘just a ball of light and positivity and happiness’, said she has always been ‘the biggest fan’ of Disney.

Regan introduced herself as a rapper, singer, dancer and spoken-word artist from Los Angeles, California. Now 18, she enjoys rapping and using her words to pass on messages that matter to her.

‘If it has anything to do with performing, I’m in it, I’m there, I want to do it,’ the multi-talented teen said.

Gabe De Guzman, based in Los Angeles, became passionate about dancing when he was just five. The 16-year-old later performed with Katy Perry and Missy Elliott during the 2015 Super Bowl.

‘Being a male dancer has not always been easy for me,’ he said in his introductory video.

Destiny: Ky Baldwin, a native of Sydney, Australia, dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player until he tried tap dancing aged six

Destiny: Ky Baldwin, a native of Sydney, Australia, dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player until he tried tap dancing aged six

Joy: Jenna Alvarez, of San Diego, is the youngest of the new cast at 15 years old. The passionate dancer, introduced by Disney as 'just a ball of light and positivity and happiness'

Joy: Jenna Alvarez, of San Diego, is the youngest of the new cast at 15 years old. The passionate dancer, introduced by Disney as ‘just a ball of light and positivity and happiness’

Singer: Brianna Mazzola,16, grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and started singing 'at a really young age', which she said made her feel different from other children

Singer: Brianna Mazzola,16, grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and started singing ‘at a really young age’, which she said made her feel different from other children

Fan: Will Simmons, 17, from Fullerton, California, is a dancer, choreographer, actor and gymnast who grew up watching some of Disney's best-known shows

Fan: Will Simmons, 17, from Fullerton, California, is a dancer, choreographer, actor and gymnast who grew up watching some of Disney’s best-known shows

‘In middle school I was bullied because I wasn’t like all the other guys playing out in the field. It’s OK to be different. Stick to something you’re passionate about even though some people may judge you for it.’

The new Club Mickey Mouse will consist of more than an hour of video a week, spread across about 70 pieces of content in that time frame.

Each week, the Mouseketeers will create their own songs and dances, and will star in a new music video weekly along with a musical performance.  

‘This isn’t about a 22-minute episode released once a week,’ EVP of publishing and digital media at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Andrew Sugerman told Variety.

‘It’s a digital-first variety program that celebrates everything that was done in the original programs, but presenting content in the way it’s consumed by today’s Gen Z audiences.’

Disney’s eight new Mouseketeers were recruited across schools, talent agencies, as well as performing-art groups and dance organizations. Being a digital star wasn’t a prerequisite, although all eight Mouseketeers have Instagram accounts, some of them with tens of thousands of followers.

‘We wanted to pick a cast that had talent, kids who represented creators in and of themselves but who were approachable and represented the notion of attainability,” Sugerman added.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk